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No Dead Ends

The concept of 'no dead ends' relates to the idea that wherever a user is on your site or your app there is always a next step, or somewhere else appealing or interesting for users to go that they don't have to work hard to find. Links, images and other content that are contextually relevant to the specific user, or the reason the user is on that page (or at least the subject matter) presented in attractive, compelling ways.

In a publisher context this is about the recirculation of readers since in a world where a significant proportion of your traffic is coming in via deep linked article pages and every page is potentially your homepage, it's all about turning visitors into readers, and readers into repeat readers (Reuters had an interesting experiment in this context which ultimately failed in execution but was quite a radical design solution to this objective).

The execution of this kind of contextual relevance is often pretty clunky. But the interesting thing about the quality of that execution is of-course that it's all dependent on data and how much you know about that user or the context of why they are reading that page. One of the reasons that a 'single customer view' (and notably the log-in) is suddenly so important is that the level of data that a company has about me and my behaviours and preferences is transformational in the understanding of context and therefore the application of relevance.

This is just one of the reasons I think that as much as retailers could learn from publishers about how to do great content, publishers could learn from retailers about data, consumer journeys and targeting.

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